Presentation by Coral Anderson - 24th November 2020 - BB Community Centre

Councillors:

You are already very well aware of the evidence of community sentiment around the council’s staff proposed leasing of OUR community centre in Batemans Bay. You have the petition with over 1,000 signatories demanding that OUR centre stay in community hands.

On 4th October 2020, a peaceful protest regarding the lease proposal was organised by Meals on Wheels. Over 150 people attended this rally, many of them long time residents with long memories. You were all invited to come along and listen and speak directly with your community. Only two attended …. Clrs Mayne and McGinlay, with a legitimate apology from Clr Constable and Clr Pollock. Apart from these four councillors, the rest of you could not even bother to send a polite apology. How very rude and disrespectful of you. By not showing up or sending a legitimate apology, you have shown disregard for your community. Being available for ceremonial photo shoots with high profile politicians and visiting footy players is not important to us nor does it impress us.

On Friday 20th November 2020, another hastily organised community meeting was held at OUR community centre in Batemans Bay to once again send a strong message to you, our representatives, to keep OUR community centre in community hands. Those who attended this meeting found OUR community centre locked up with no access available to the public toilets; a sign stuck to the inside of the entrance door with blu tac directed us to the Visitors Information Centre and another read the community centre is currently ‘open to bookings only’. The friendly staff who are normally present to greet the community must be embarrassed by the directive to shut out the public this way.

Councillors Nathan and Tait….Will you honour the Community Action Alliance pledge ‘We won’t just listen to our residents’ reasonable concerns. We will take notice and we will take action’?

Mayor Innes, will you stay true to your pledge to ‘stand shoulder to shoulder with the community’?

Councillors …. Will you honour your Oath of Office to ‘undertake the duties of the office of councillor in the best interests of the people’?

Clr Mayne’s motion is clear and well supported by the community. Bring OUR community centre back to the community. Reclassify the land to its original classification of ‘community’.

Reject the staff’s recommendation to lease OUR community centre to its preferred tenderer and direct them to the 400sq metres of available space in the old Target building over which the Department of Education has taken a lease. It makes sense to have educational facilities in the one building.

The decisions you make today are critical; they will become an election issue in September 2021. You will either be remembered as those who turned their backs on the community or those who supported the community. Are you with us or against us?


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